Moisture and energy fluxes from remote sensing

Surface climatologies

Surface water and energy fluxes are essential components of the Earth System. Satellite based techniques to monitor surface energy and water fluxes are beeing developed by combining multiple satellite data.

The research group has generated a harmonized, longterm satellite based climatology of ocean surface fluxes. The HOAPS (Hamburg Ocean Atmosphere Parameters from Satellite) climatology is widely used as observational reference data set for ocean surface fluxes.

Currently an extension of the HOAPS climatology over land is under development. The information from multiple satellite sensors are combined to obtain estimates of land surface water and energy fluxes (e.g surface radiation budget, soil moisture dynamics, precipitation over land).

Remote sensing of soil moisture

The water content of the soil is an important variable, determining the partitioning of the available energy into sensible and latent heat fluxes. It conditions the availability of water for the vegetation and affects the land hydrology as well as land-atmosphere fluxes. Remote sensing techniques are developed to retrieve information on soil moisture dynamics from satellite data. The research group is involved in the evaluation of new satellite sensors like the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity Mission (SMOS) and the planned SMAP mission.